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Thread: How reliable are these era bikes?

  1. #1
    Nick Kennedy
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    How reliable are these era bikes?

    http://marketplace.bmwmoa.org/classi...ing-23458.aspx

    These are interesting bikes to me.
    Have they had all the trans spline stripping problems cured by now?
    Generally how reliable are these for a 20 yr old bike?
    Lotta bike for the $ if its not a garage queen.
    Thoughts?
    Nick

  2. #2
    Left Coast Rider
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    IMHO ...
    As long as its had it's scheduled services and had the brake lines replaced and the HES re-wired, this bike has a lot of miles in front of it.

  3. #3
    Registered User paed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    IMHO ...
    As long as its had it's scheduled services and had the brake lines replaced and the HES re-wired, this bike has a lot of miles in front of it.
    What he said!

  4. #4
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    These bikes are ticking time bombs because they were the first built following new German laws requiring auto parts be biodegradable.

    The wiring harnesses on these bike are mostly falling apart at this age--just as designed--and you'll encounter problems and the need for repairs. Most will have had brake hoses replaced by now as well.

    Questions on reliability of 20+ year old motorcycles are ... "interesting." These bikes were made in limited quantities and parts have to come from Germany and remain expensive.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    These bikes are ticking time bombs because they were the first built following new German laws requiring auto parts be biodegradable.

    The wiring harnesses on these bike are mostly falling apart at this age--just as designed--and you'll encounter problems and the need for repairs. Most will have had brake hoses replaced by now as well.

    Questions on reliability of 20+ year old motorcycles are ... "interesting." These bikes were made in limited quantities and parts have to come from Germany and remain expensive.
    Nonsense. Not even BMW would do this to buyers.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    These bikes are ticking time bombs because they were the first built following new German laws requiring auto parts be biodegradable.

    The wiring harnesses on these bike are mostly falling apart at this age--just as designed--and you'll encounter problems and the need for repairs. Most will have had brake hoses replaced by now as well.

    Questions on reliability of 20+ year old motorcycles are ... "interesting." These bikes were made in limited quantities and parts have to come from Germany and remain expensive.
    Always Mr. Positive.

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Best BMW IMO

    I have a 2005 R1150GSA that has been bulletproof. It has been on-road, offroad and generally ridden hard and currently has around 60k miles. Other than the ticking time-bomb that is the servo brakes, I have complete confidence in this bike. It currently sits waiting for me at Knopf in Heidelberg for our annual Alps vacation, so I currently only ride it once/year but when we get together, it's like meeting up with a dear friend that I haven't seen in a year.

    I have four other bikes in the garage but I'll never sell that bike. It was the only bike I considered taking to Europe.

    I can't tell from the pictures whether that bike has the servo brakes (late 2002's got them) but if the calipers say "BMW" on them, plan on removing the servo if/when it fails at some point. They are no longer available or are priced at more than the value of the bike (depending on who you ask). If you remove it, you will still have brakes, just no ABS. There are lots of instructions on how to remove it online.
    2005 R1150 GSA Bumblebee

  8. #8
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Canoehead View Post
    I have a 2005 R1150GSA that has been bulletproof. It has been on-road, offroad and generally ridden hard and currently has around 60k miles. Other than the ticking time-bomb that is the servo brakes, I have complete confidence in this bike. It currently sits waiting for me at Knopf in Heidelberg for our annual Alps vacation, so I currently only ride it once/year but when we get together, it's like meeting up with a dear friend that I haven't seen in a year.

    I have four other bikes in the garage but I'll never sell that bike. It was the only bike I considered taking to Europe.

    I can't tell from the pictures whether that bike has the servo brakes (late 2002's got them) but if the calipers say "BMW" on them, plan on removing the servo if/when it fails at some point. They are no longer available or are priced at more than the value of the bike (depending on who you ask). If you remove it, you will still have brakes, just no ABS. There are lots of instructions on how to remove it online.
    All the RT1150's came with servo brakes unless factory ordered w/o ABS option.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    Need your R11xx Hall sensor rewired? PM me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    All the RT1150's came with servo brakes unless factory ordered w/o ABS option.
    I extrapolated the GS/GSA brake equipment to the RT. My bad.

    Steptoes_garden.jpg

    When the servo bikes were popular, Steptoe posted this picture of the garden behind his shop - filled with dead servos.
    2005 R1150 GSA Bumblebee

  10. #10
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Canoehead View Post
    I have a 2005 R1150GSA that has been bulletproof. It has been on-road, offroad and generally ridden hard and currently has around 60k miles. Other than the ticking time-bomb that is the servo brakes, I have complete confidence in this bike. It currently sits waiting for me at Knopf in Heidelberg for our annual Alps vacation, so I currently only ride it once/year but when we get together, it's like meeting up with a dear friend that I haven't seen in a year.

    I have four other bikes in the garage but I'll never sell that bike. It was the only bike I considered taking to Europe.

    I can't tell from the pictures whether that bike has the servo brakes (late 2002's got them) but if the calipers say "BMW" on them, plan on removing the servo if/when it fails at some point. They are no longer available or are priced at more than the value of the bike (depending on who you ask). If you remove it, you will still have brakes, just no ABS. There are lots of instructions on how to remove it online.
    If one regularly flushes the brake system and has changed out the rubber lines for braided steel, the servo brake system presents virtually no issues. I have two bikes with a combined total of 240,000km on them with no problems. Many here can attest to same.

  11. #11
    Neglected Bike Adopter
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    If one regularly flushes the brake system and has changed out the rubber lines for braided steel, the servo brake system presents virtually no issues. I have two bikes with a combined total of 240,000km on them with no problems. Many here can attest to same.
    Only problem is that now that these are aged bikes, there's usually no guarantee that all the previous owners followed the proper maintenance schedule. A fortunate buyer might be the second owner, and purchase a bike from someone who's done and documented all their maintenance since new.
    Owner of the saddest 1997 R850R you ever did see.

  12. #12
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by htomsett View Post
    Only problem is that now that these are aged bikes, there's usually no guarantee that all the previous owners followed the proper maintenance schedule.
    So true.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by htomsett View Post
    Only problem is that now that these are aged bikes, there's usually no guarantee that all the previous owners followed the proper maintenance schedule. A fortunate buyer might be the second owner, and purchase a bike from someone who's done and documented all their maintenance since new.
    True, so a complete major service is in order. And check the wiring harnesses. And replace any old rubber brake lines. Then ride on.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by htomsett View Post
    Only problem is that now that these are aged bikes, there's usually no guarantee that all the previous owners followed the proper maintenance schedule. A fortunate buyer might be the second owner, and purchase a bike from someone who's done and documented all their maintenance since new.
    As it happens, I have an almost 20 year-old R bike for sale in the Marketplace of this forum. I have all service records since I bought it new.

    http://marketplace.bmwmoa.org/classi...ing-23852.aspx
    2002 R1150R (sold)
    2016 BMW F700GS
    2021 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

  15. #15
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    opinion

    Having owned an '04 R1150RT (sold) and presently own a '93 R1100RSL I think if I were looking to buy an oilhead BMW I would concentrate my efforts on oilheads built between 1993 and 2001 which are the R1100 series. I think they have better build qualities and have fewer potential problems like trans input shaft and final drive issues and as I have only recently discovered much better and simpler to live with electronic control units (ECU) making problems like engine surging issues far easier to satisfactorily remedy. Just my very humble opinion.
    Jammess

    '93 R1100RSL, '10 FJR1300A
    MOA # 50714

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